How to Set Up a Home Office and/or Home Schooling Station
Who would have thought a month ago that we would all be working and schooling our kids at home? We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this and if you don’t have an actual home office in your home you might be scrambling right now. I would like to give you a few ideas to set up a temporary space at home for doing work, whether that’s you and your partner working your job or your kids doing school at home. Or both! For a lot of us we have to figure this all out!
All products that I have listed are easily available from companies like Amazon and WestWingNow who can deliver very quickly (that’s at least the case as I am writing this!). My thinking is that you probably need a solution sooner rather than later. I really encourage you to support small businesses as much as possible, especially in this difficult economic period, but in this case expediency is your priority.
Where in the house are you working?
There is a good chance that you will have to use somewhere like the dining table for you to work, for your kids to work or even all of you. If this is also the table where you eat then it is vitally important to make it really easy to set up the work station and then move it again.
I now have a home office for my business, but not that many years ago I was doing my studies on the dining room table so I know exactly how hard this can be. The key is being able to quickly and easily put everything away so you can use the table for meals and then get the stuff back out again later.
My 10-year old daughter is currently doing school at her desk in her bedroom, but my 8-year old son prefers to sit at the dining table. This works best since he also needs more supervision and encouragement to concentrate.
Wherever the work is happening, the key is to keep everything organized. There are a few ways of doing this. See what works best for you and what organizational tools you might already have in your home.
A trolly is a very useful item to have in this situation. We have long had the IKEA Raskog cart used as an art cart for the kids. It has now been turned into out homeschooling station. The top self is for pencils, pens, scissors, etc. Then each of my two kids has a shelf for their school books and materials. We take out what we need and very easily put everything back away when school is finished for the day.
The trolly could also be used for your work things if you are working at the dining table. Everything from your laptop to files and folders can be stored here and conveniently rolled away at the end of your work day.
If you want to purchase a trolly, think about long-term use. What could you do with it when everyone goes back to work and school? Would it make sense as an art cart? Maybe a breakfast cart in the kitchen (we have something like this). Ideally you will only purchase products now that can be put to good use later as well.
How to keep paperwork organized?
If you have a sideboard or desk to keep the paperwork on, you might be in need of something to keep the papers from becoming a mess. If your kids are like mine, they have tons of worksheets to keep track of. I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite brands for desk and office organization (not sponsored!). BIGSO BOX of Sweden has loads of products in lots of colors and styles and all at reasonable prices. I use a number of their products in my home office.
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Another option for keeping papers and books in one place and easily moved around is a basket or magazine holder.
A favorite new addition to my home office is this cordless charger. While I’m working I’ve got this plugged into my computer and my mobile phone sits on top and charges while I work. It doesn’t hurt that’s it’s pretty in pink 😉
Noise canceling headphones might be a very useful tool for trying to work while your kids are home, especially if you are working in the same room.
The same might be true for your kids.
Top Tips for Working and Schooling at Home
- Make a daily schedule and stick to it.
- BUT also be flexible and accept that there will be days when you all get a lot accomplished and other days when you simply don’t.
- Have scheduled breaks and easy things for the kids to do on their breaks (my son loves to turn up the music and work on a puzzle).
- Make breakfast or lunch boxes in the morning as usual so kids can get snacks themselves (thank you Carla for this tip!)
- Tidy everything up at the end of the “work day” so you can enjoy the afternoons and start fresh each morning.
- Get outside as much as possible.
- Wine 😉
Wishing you all good health, patience and strong nerves!